Dandelion root is usually recommended for the bile-secreting liver organ. Dandelion root also disinfects the blood, raises bile construction and enhances the abilities of the spleen, pancreas, abdomen and kidneys. It is usually consumed for urarthritis, lack of blood in the body, inflammation of the joints, liver disease, liver inflammation caused by a virus, furuncles, spasms, retention of fluid, stultification and breast tumors.
As with most herbs there are benefits associated with making herbal tea from calendula or pot marigold. Here are some of the top benefits and symptoms it is used to treat:
Treat Common Cold
Relieve Sore Throat
Contains Vitamin A
Contains Viatmin C
The Ancient Egyptians and Romans have documented the use of calendula as a herbal medicine for 1000's of years.
Organic dandelion leaf, orange medicinal calendula flowers and a dash of stevia
Much of what dandelions purportedly do in promoting good health could result from nutritional richness alone. Vogel considers the sodium in dandelions important in reducing inflammations of the liver. Gerasimova, the Russian chemist who analyzed the dandelion for, among other things, trace minerals, stated that "dandelion [is] an example of a harmonious combination of trace elements, vitamins and other biologically active substances in ratios optimal for a human organism" (Hobbs 1985).
Recent research, reported in the Natural Healing and Nutritional Annual, 1989 (Bricklin and Ferguson 1989) on the value of vitamins and minerals indicates that:
* Vitamin A is important in fighting cancers of epithelial tissue, including mouth and lung;
* Potassium rich foods, in adequate quantities, and particularly in balance with magnesium, helps keep blood pressure down and reduces risks of strokes;
* Fiber fights diabetes, lowers cholesterol, reduces cancer and heart disease
risks, and assists in weight loss. High fiber vegetables take up lots of room, are low in calories, and slow down digestion so the food stays in the stomach longer and you feel full longer;
* Calcium in high concentrations can build strong bones and can lower blood pressure;
* B vitamins help reduce stress.
Throughout history, dandelions have had a reputation as being effective in promoting weight loss and laboratory research indicates that there is some support for this reputation. Controlled tests on laboratory mice and rats by the same Romanians indicated that a loss of up to 30% of body weight in 30 days was possible when the animals were fed dandelion extract with their food. Those on grass extract lost much less. The control group on plain water actually gained weight.
Beyond nutritional richness, however, are the active chemical constituents contained in dandelions which may have specific therapeutic effects on the body. These include, as reported by Hobbs (1985):
* Inulin, which converts to fructose in the presence of cold or hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Fructose forms glycogen in the liver without requiring insulin, resulting in a slower blood sugar rise, which makes it good for diabetics and hypoglycemics;
* Tof-CFr, a glucose polymer similar to lentinan, which Japanese researchers have found to act against cancer cells in laboratory mice; Lentinan is a yeast glucan (glucose polymer) that increases resistance against protozoal and viral infections.;
* Pectin, which is anti-diarrheal and also forms ionic complexes with metal ions, which probably contributes to dandelion's reputation as a blood and gastrointestinal detoxifying herb. Pectin is prescribed regularly in Russia to remove heavy metals and radioactive elements from body tissues. Pectin can also lower cholesterol and, combined with Vitamin C, can lower it even more. Dandelion is a good source of both Pectin and Vitamin C;
* Coumestrol, an estrogen mimic which possibly is responsible, at least in part, for stimulating milk flow and altering hormones;
* Apigenin and Luteolin, two flavonoid glycosides which have been demonstrated to have diuretic, anti-spasmodic, anti-oxidant and liver protecting actions and properties, and also to strengthen the heart and blood vessels. They also have anti-bacterial and anti-hypoglycemic properties, and, as estrogen mimics, may also stimulate milk production and alter hormones;
* Gallic Acid, which is anti-diarrheal and anti-bacterial;
* Linoleic and Linolenic Acid, which are essential fatty acids required by the body to produce prostaglandin which regulate blood pressure and such body processes as immune responses which suppress inflammation. These fatty acids can lower chronic inflammation, such as proliferative arthritis, regulate blood pressure and the menstrual cycle, and prevent platelet aggregation;
* Choline, which has been shown to help improve memory;
*Several Sesquiterpene compounds which are what make dandelions bitter. These may partly account for dandelions tonic effects on digestion, liver, spleen and gall bladder, and are highly anti-fungal;
* Several Triterpenes, which may contribute to bile or liver stimulation;
* Taraxasterol, which may contribute to liver and gall bladder health or to hormone altering.
These chemicals, individually, are not unique to dandelions, but the combination of them all in one plant, along with high levels of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fiber account for the many claims made regarding the plant.
These claims include the following results of clinical and laboratory research, again as reported in Hobbs (1985):
* A doubling of bile output with leaf extracts, and a quadrupling of bile output with root extract. Bile assists with the emulsification, digestion and absorption of fats, in alkalinizing the intestines and in the prevention of putrefaction. This could explain the effectiveness of dandelion in reducing the effects of fatty foods (heartburn and acid indigestion);
* A reduction in serum cholesterol and urine bilirubin levels by as much as half in humans with severe liver imbalances has been demonstrated by Italian researchers;
* Diuretic effects with a strength approaching that of the potent diuretics Furosemide and Lasix, used for congestive heart failure and cirrhosis of the liver, with none of the serious side effects, were found by Romanian scientists. They found that water extract of dandelion leaves, administered orally, because of its high potassium content, replaced serum potassium electrolytes lost in the urine, eliminating such side effects common with the synthetics as severe potassium depletion, hepatic coma in liver patients, circulatory collapse, and transmission through mothers' milk;
* In 1979 a Japanese patent was filed for a freeze-dried warm water extract of dandelion root for anti-tumor use. It was found that administration of the extract markedly inhibited growth of particular carcinoma cells within one week after treatment;
* Dental researchers at Indiana University in 1982 used dandelion extracts in antiplaque preparations;
* In studies from 1941 to 1952, the French scientist Henri Leclerc demonstrated the effectiveness of dandelion on chronic liver problems related to bile stones. He found that roots gathered in late summer to fall, when they are rich in bitter, white milky latex, should be used for all liver treatments;
* In 1956, Chauvin demonstrated the antibacterial effects of dandelion pollen, which may validate the centuries old use of dandelion flowers in Korean folk medicine to prevent furuncles (boils, skin infections), tuberculosis, and edema and promote blood circulation.
Also, Witt (1983) recommends dandelion tea to alleviate the water buildup in PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome).
There are many testimonials from those who have benefited from the use of dandelions in the treatment of what ailed them.